Non-fiction

The Truth Hurts

$32.99

Criminal justice systems are not designed to seek the truth. In places like Australia, court proceedings remain an adversarial blood sport at times distorted by smoke and mirrors or failed by individual shortcomings. Navigating it is difficult and uncertain for any one of us but more so if you are poor, not white – or not white enough – not a straight male or have no formal education. Simply put, the most vulnerable among us are unfairly exposed to unjust outcomes.

Drawing on his experiences as a child of Burmese migrants fleeing a military junta and his evolution from a naive law clerk, too shy to speak, into a lawyer whose ponytailed flamboyance and unbridled willingness to speak truth to power riled many within the legal establishment, Andrew Boe delves into cases he found unable to leave behind. These cases have shaped who he has become. Taking us from a case of traditional punishment gone wrong in the Gibson Desert to deaths in police custody on Palm Island and in Yuendumu in the Northern Territory – places where race relations are often stalled in a colonial time warp – to an isolated rural home, and the question of what is self-defence after decades of domestic abuse; to cases of children abandoned, ‘stolen’ and then fought over; and into prison interview rooms and courthouses around the country where Boe defended serial killers, rapists, child sex offenders, murderers as well as the odd politician – he holds fast to the premise that either every one of us is entitled to the presumption of innocence or none of us are.

How to Sell a Massacre

$27.99

One Nation, the NRA and $20 million – inside journalism’s most audacious sting. By the mastermind who infiltrated the NRA and One Nation and based on the award-winning documentary seen on ABC TV.

In 2019, the ABC aired an explosive investigative documentary entitled How to Sell a Massacre. The result of an audacious three-year infiltration of the US National Rifle Association, the documentary revealed how One Nation solicited donations of up to $20 million from the NRA, promising in return to use the balance of power to soften gun laws in Australia. Masterminded by veteran Australian journalist Peter Charley, the elaborate sting saw Australian businessman Rodger Muller go undercover as the head of a fake Australian pro-gun advocacy group. But the tactics used by Charley to expose both One Nation and the NRA drew criticism from some.

Now in his book How to Sell a Massacre, Peter Charley gives an inside account of the sting, drawing on more than 40 years’ reporting to explore how journalism has changed and to make sense of why – in a post-truth environment – he felt it necessary to set a trap to catch the truth. Charley draws on previously unreleased transcripts of covertly recorded meetings between the NRA and One Nation to give graphic details of the undercover operation. At the same time, he reflects on a long and distinguished career and how the role and methods of journalism have had to change and adapt in a post-truth world.

Set during the period of Donald Trump’s rise to power and the US’s worst mass shootings, including Las Vegas and Orlando, How to Sell a Massacre reads like a pacey spy thriller with a deadly truth at its heart: that an Australian political party would seek foreign money in a bid to seize power and destroy the gun laws that keep Australians safe.

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